Filipino workers in the CNMI who have taken livelihood courses at the Philippine Overseas Labor Office can look forward to utilizing their skills by next year.
That’s because POLO plans to focus on the monitoring and application component of their livelihood program beginning 2012, said labor representative Carmelina Velasquez yesterday.
“Our thrust next year is to provide assistance to these Filipinos who have availed of our livelihood courses to apply what they learned through our loan assistance program,” Velasquez told Saipan Tribune.
Velasquez refers to the OFW Reintegration Loan Program launched by President Benigno Aquino III during Migrant Workers Day in June.
The OFW Reintegration Loan Program is a joint venture of the Department of Labor and Employment, OWWA, Land Bank of the Philippines, and the Development Bank of the Philippines. OWWA gave P1 billion (about $23 million) while LBP and DBP each provided P500 million (about $11.5 million) for the program.
The program aims to provide Filipino workers with loans ranging from P300,000 to P2 million (about $7,000 to $46,000) at an interest rate of 7.5 percent per annum.
Velasquez said the loan program will assist Filipino workers in the CNMI transform their newly acquired skills into sources of revenue.
Velasquez noted that a Filipino worker does not need to be in the Philippines to apply for the loan and can ask a family member to process it on their behalf.
“We will assist and facilitate the approval and release of the loan for Filipinos here in the CNMI who want to apply for the loan,” she said.
Although they will assist Filipino workers interested in the loan program, Velasquez said they will still offer livelihood courses next year.
Among these courses will be the Basic Computer Operations class, which is the most in demand, and language courses such as English and Nihonggo.